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ISIS-spooked Lampedusa fishers demand state of emergency

Islands' beleaguered seamen ask Renzi to fight terrorists

(ANSA) - Palermo, February 25 - Premier Matteo Renzi must declare a state of emergency given the looming threat of ISIS terrorists to tiny southern Italian islands and their inhabitants, the president of the consortium of Lampedusa and Linosa fishers, Totò Martello, said Wednesday.
    With ISIS gaining territory in Libya, the jihadists are drawing closer to Italy, separated by only a narrow strip of sea from Lampedusa, Italy's southernmost point.
    "It may seem strange to you, but we are truly worried for ourselves and our families," Martello said in a letter to the premier and to Agriculture Minister Maurizio Martina.
    "Ever since ISIS arrived in Libya and our foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni sounded the alarm on the approach of the terrorists and the defence minister, Roberta Pinotti, said she had 5,000 soldiers ready, we are not at peace," he added.
    Fishers say they are upset by warnings from authorities to keep a distance from the Libyan coast, which they say is hurting their haul and the families.
    "We are frightened of being boarded by terrorists and people traffickers, one can't live with the nightmare of not going home," said Martello.
    "We need to be protected and defended, but to work we need to be tranquil in a Mediterranean that every day becomes more the world's powder keg".


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